100% of donations will go directly to the shelter and will exclusively be invested in the wellbeing of the animals.
THE SHELTER'S STORY
Animal rights and shelter standards are slowly improving in Poland, but conditions in public shelters are still nowhere near where they could and should be. It is especially bad in villages. One of the people on the forefront of saving and fighting for animals is Agnieszka "Aga" Korbal-Bondarczuk.
The AFN Fundacja (ALARMOWY FUNDUSZ NADZIEI NA ŻYCIE - The emergency fund for hope of life) was founded as an organization in 2006 by Aga to improve conditions in the local, city-run animal shelter. The conditions at the shelter were gruesome, with up to 4 dogs “living” in a tiny 4,5 m² (48sq ft) , constantly wet cement cell. The bowls were more filled with mold than food, if the food donations ever made it into the bowls at all.
In 2012, Aga managed to take over as the owner of the shelter and constantly improved conditions while putting an end to the previous kill-policy of the shelter.
Despite her best efforts, funding for public shelters was repeatedly cut by the city and Aga found herself unable to provide appropriate care for her fosterlings.
BUILDING HER OWN SHELTER
In order to save her beloved animals from having to go back to living in horrible conditions, she took out a private loan and built her own shelter. She didn’t want to leave a single animal behind and managed to move every single dog and cat into her new shelter.
Despite having their own beds, some just prefer to sleep cuddled up together.
The new cat house:
Aga built over 80 kennels, a medical hut for treatment, a big free play area and a smaller one, a quarantine station and a cat house with inside and outside areas. Each dog kennel can hold up to 2 dogs depending on the dog’s social preferences and needs. Each dog has its own cozy, insulated hideaway to sleep in.
SAVING ABUSED ANIMALS
Koks was found abandoned by the roadside, apparently starving for weeks. As his droppings show, he must have been eating stones to survive.
As there were signs of strangulation by a tight chain around his neck, it is assumed that he was already starving before escaping or being abandoned by his owner.
Where other shelters refuse to rescue an animal because it would be difficult to care for or because they don’t believe that someone would be interested in adopting (paying for) it, Aga goes out of her way to save every animal she can. She has saved countless abused, starving cats and dogs from certain death. Where others would simply put the animal down because they might not be pretty enough to be adopted, Aga will take and care for each and every one no matter the handicap.
Krycs was found with a severe spine injury and non-functioning hind legs. Despite that, Aga didn't want to give up on him and took him in, had him operated and treated. Today, he is a happy, speedy little boy who has found his forever-home.
While in Aga's care at the shelter, he had his own little outside area where he could safely walk around on his front legs - and greet visitors.
Here is a video of another paraplegic dog, Rondzia! The little fence is movable, and whenever a dog gets too old or too sick to run on the free-run field, Aga and her team move the fence to the dog's kennel, so that they can get some grass on their paws.
If one of her fosterlings doesn't find their forever home before they leave this earth, Aga honors and remembers them with her own little shrine.
MORE RESCUE MISSIONS
In Ostróda the people and even the police call Aga when they find a hurt animal because they fear that the city run shelters might reject it if their condition is too bad. The doors of her shelter welcome every animal in need of help.
Bartus was found abandoned by a roadside at freezing temperatures. It took over 4 hours until Aga and her team were able to catch him.
Koralik was found with a hole in his leg so deep the bone was clearly visible.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE!
But with a lot of love, medical treatment and patience by the AFN team, Koralik was able to heal and find a loving home.
THE STORY OF BELOVED VENUS
The warmhearted, soft soul of a dog "Venus" was hit by TWO trains and left to die. No shelter wanted to take the mangled animal off the street she was laying on, as the chances of survival seemed too slim. Not for Aga.
She took her in and treated her like the little perfect dog that she was. On her one year anniversary in the shelter, Aga threw her a little birthday celebration.
Sadly, Venus unexpectedly passed away a few months later, but she has never left Aga's and AFN's hearts.
FIGHTING FOR ANIMAL'S RIGHTS
The AFN Fundacja also takes the stand for animal rights. In one instance she sued a farmer to save 25 cows that were starving at the farm. Another time she personally took a man to court who horrifically beat and killed his own dog.
THIS YEAR, DISASTER AFTER DISASTER HIT
This year the shelter was hit with several strokes of fate. A shelter costs an enormous amount of energy. Aga has a deal with the current electricity company, however, electricity costs have increased fourfold and the deal will end in 2023. Since Aga won't be able to afford to pay the electricity bill in 2024, she has invested in solar energy as a last effort to afford energy. Aga is currently paying off 16.000€ (18.000$) to have solar energy installed.
Soon after, one of AFN's team's most important workers who does a lot of heavy duty work and accompanies Aga in rescue missions in the shelter had a severe accident and is currently not able to help - or move at all.
Lastly, despite each and every animal being vaccinated, a kennel cough broke out in the shelter and the dogs require treatment and medication.
And to put it bluntly: The shelter is running out of food.
But AFN does not only get food donations. Regularly, little packages, or rather, "bundles of joy" get brought to the shelter.
And the animals are hungry and need good food to stay healthy.
WHAT DONATIONS ARE USED FOR
To say it in simple terms: If Aga can't come up with enough funds, she will have to close her shelter - and all animals will have to go back to living in a public shelter. What may happen to many of the animals, especially the older, the handicapped or even just the "not so pretty" cats and dogs is unknown.
The donations will be used for:
- Dog and cat food
- Sterilizations, operations, vaccinations and chipping
- Medical equipment
- Electricity bill
- Upkeep of the animal rescue car
- Photovoltaic solar system to reduce electical bills
Aga’s shelter heavily relies on donations and her own income.
So please, help Aga keep her animal sanctuary open and help her save countless more lives.
Since Poland isn’t a supported country on GoFundMe, the German organization “Heimatlose Pfoten e.V.”, which has been working together with AFN Fundacja for 10 years, will receive the donations and transfer 100% of the money directly to AFN Fundacja in Ostroda, Poland.
Thank you so much for your support!